Charlie Austin never overstepped the mark – Southampton boss Mark Hughes – Football


Mark Hughes says the Football Association was right not to punish Charlie Austin for his outburst after Southampton's controversial home draw against Watford.

In the Saints' last game before the international break, Austin branded the decision to disallow his goal "a joke" and said the Video Assistant Referee system needed to be introduced to help officials.

Austin's rant quickly went viral and created much amusement on social media when it was set to the Blur hit 'Parklife', but it left the striker at risk of an FA disciplinary charge.

However, Austin has avoided sanction and Hughes said: "He was treading on maybe fragile ground at one point but he never overstepped the mark.

"That's been indicated that the FA did not seem to deem it fit to question Charlie any further on that – and rightly so.

"For once they understood the emotion and significance of the decision that went against us

"Charlie was just saying what everybody else felt on the day and it's fair to say that the reaction he got was right and proper."

Austin's fury was sparked after he fired home Nathan Redmond's cross in the 66th minute with Southampton 1-0 ahead.

The strike was chalked off by referee Simon Hooper because Maya Yoshida – who did not touch the ball – was standing in an offside position, and Southampton's pain was compounded when Jose Holebas equalized late on to secure a 1-1 draw for Watford.

"For Charlie to show that emotion is good for everybody outside the club and outside the confines of the training ground," Hughes said ahead of Southampton's match against fellow strugglers Fulham on Saturday.

"It's important sometimes that people looking from the outside understand when things go against you and decisions have affected you, like they did against Watford.

"It's right and proper that people see how we feel close to an event that's concerning everybody.

"Charlie was just saying what he felt from the heart and what he felt as a part of a group of lads that had done their best to try and get maximum points on the board.

"That was where the frustration for him and for us lay, so his reaction did not surprise me."

Austin also echoed the post-Watford words of Hughes, who urged the Premier League to emerge from the "dark ages" by introducing VAR.

Since the St Mary's controversy, Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to introduce VAR from next season.

"He (Austin) should be in politics, he should be an MP maybe," smiled Hughes, who could be without the injured Danny Ings as well as the suspended Ryan Bertrand at Craven Cottage.

"Danny is the big doubt at the moment," Hughes said.

"He's only just got out on the grass so maybe (Friday) we might be able to integrate him into the group.

"As we stand at the moment, he has to be a doubt.

"He might be an option from the bench but that will be determined by what we see."

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